Durham, North Carolina, has always been a beer city, but their craft beer scene has expanded from the classics to the creative! The best breweries in Durham craft beers for all kinds of palates. With beers to take home or enjoy in taprooms and restaurants, you’ll be sure to have a great time exploring the fantastic beer scene of this great southern city.
If you’re new to Durham, just visiting, or you’re a resident who’s never explored the city’s breweries, then keep reading to find out about the nine best breweries in Durham!
1. Fullsteam Brewery
Fullsteam Brewery isn’t just located in downtown Durham it’s part of the greater Durham community. Its mission is to make brewing a truly southern affair. By partnering with southern farmers and crafting their beers to celebrate the foods and farms of the American South, this distinctly Durham brewery keeps money in the southern economy and promotes sustainability.
Of course, they have fun too! Their southern influence is in more than just great flavors; they embody the southern spirit of front porches, supportive communities, and good times.
Their award-winning Paycheck is a must-try! This European-style pilsner is all-American in its origins, brewed with American hops and local barley and corn. Even better, it’s crisp, refreshing, and always dependably delicious!
2. Bull Durham Beer Company
The Bull Durham Beer Company has the home team advantage. Brewed right at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, there’s no fresher beer than one enjoyed at a Bulls game! They have two simple, no-nonsense beer offerings, a light ale and a kolsch and are the perfect brewery for the beer drinker looking for a well-made take on classic beer flavors.
Give their Kolsch a try the next time you’re at a Bulls game! This reliable German-style beer takes the flavors you love from big-name brewers and adds the quality and care only craft brewing operations can manage. With subdued malts and unobtrusive hops this mild beer is a real thirst-quencher.
3. Ponysaurus Brewing
Opened in 2015, Ponysaurus Brewing crafts beers in a way they describe as “forward-thinking and backward-tasting.” With a focus on European styles, their beers range from the old-world flavors of traditional ales and stouts to more mixed-up and funky saisons, sours, and wits. These beers are complex and well crafted and can be enjoyed in their taproom, beer garden, patio, or taken home from stores across North Carolina.
If you want to know what makes them one of the best breweries in Durham, give their Barrel-Aged, Don’t Be Mean to People with Brett & Plum a taste. They barrel-aged their Don’t Be Mean to People saison for four years before blending the brew with plum and molasses for a rich, complex, sweet, and sherry-like beer.
4. Dirty Bull Brewing Company
One of the best breweries in Durham and ranked one of the top 34 new breweries in the US when they opened in 2016, Dirty Bull Brewing Company believes in crafting creative brews using old-world techniques. From barrel-aged and sour beers to classic offerings, there is something for everyone at their taproom! If you have the time they also offer brewery tours, so you can see just how their delicious offerings are made.
Try one of their seasonal offerings! We recommend My Mom Still Packs My Lunch, a boozy imperial stout made with peanut butter and marshmallows. Or, you’ll always get it right with “Durham’s finest beer-flavored beer,” their lager!
5. Barrel Culture Brewing and Blending
Opened in 2017 by a group of friends and craft beer obsessives, Barrel Culture Brewing and Blending is constantly crafting new and delicious beers! Their ever-changing offerings blend in fruity and fresh flavors with their great beer bases. You can try their beers at their Durham Taproom, which has indoor and outdoor areas to sit and sip! Or you can get a membership and try every single one of their creations throughout the year!
We think you should drop by for a drink of their Heavy Jams: Suplex City. This beer takes Barrel Culture’s classic golden sour base and blends it with strawberry, prickly pear, mango, ice cream, cheesecake, & graham cracker for a sweet, sour, and absolutely wild brew! This beer may sound complicated, but what’s not hard to understand the wildly delicious taste.
6. Hi-Wire Brewing at Golden Belt
Hi-Wire Brewing at Golden Belt combines classic seasonal offerings with more adventurous seasonal brews for a well-balanced brewery that pulls off the high-wire act of having something for every beer drinker! Ales, stouts, IPAs and sours there is a beer for everyone at one of the best breweries in Durham. Not only that, their inviting brewery has tons to do indoors and out. Come for their fantastic beers on tap and stay for a great time with friends and family!
On a hot summer day, sit down with a glass or can of their Pink Lemonade; this session sour ale balances raspberry sweetness with tart lemon peel and a lemony fresh lemongrass aroma. This delicious beer will bring back memories of childhood with an adult kick!
7. The Glass Jug Beer Lab
The Glass Jug Beer Lab is a small-batch brewery with an ever-changing selection of beers! They view their brewery as a laboratory focused on experimenting with new, unique, and exciting ingredients. They also believe in the laboratory ethos of sterilization and frequent testing so that every beer achieves a perfect planned flavor! While planning beers requires creativity, they believe brewing them is a science.
Give their Transparency a taste! This West Coast-style IPA is sweet and malty but balanced with a bitter hoppy flavor. Dry-hopped with Centennial, Cascade, & Amarillo, this beer’s hops give it citrus and pine qualities with a clean finish. This fine tuned, carefully crafted beer is a truly world class IPA.
8. Starpoint Brewing
Founded in 2012, Starpoint Brewing focuses on small-batch IPAs. With a focus on premium malts and time-honored techniques, Starpoint Brewing doesn’t mess around with fruits or weird flavors; they make what they know and love! While they’re always brewing the beers that made them of the best breweries in Durham, they also offer some small-batch IPA experiments!
Try their beloved Hipster or Hobo? a classic, straightforward pale ale kicked up a notch with high-quality Citra hops and honey malt. This tasty beer is available canned or on tap at their brewery. Starpoint Brewing knows how to craft a great IPA!
9. Clouds Brewing
Opened in 2015, Clouds Brewing crafts German-inspired beers. With tons of options on tap and a friend’s pub and patio experience, this brewery is a Durham favorite for a reason. There is always something new on tap, and their selections are creative without straying too far from flavors you know and love.
Their Blood Orange Hop J.A.M. is a must-try! This blood orange infused IPA is bright orange in color and citrus bright in flavor. This creative IPA is tropical and refreshing, perfect for enjoying on a hot North Carolina summer afternoon.
Enjoy the best Breweries in Durham.
Durham, North Carolina, has always been a beer city! Over the last decade, the craft beer scene has expanded from the classics to the truly creative! Anyone looking to kick back with a cold beer and enjoy the game or truly focus on the flavors they love to enjoy is sure to find a great beer at a great brewery in Durham.
Check out the other blog posts in our Best Breweries series. Go on a virtual pub crawl, or add some of these to your itinerary for an upcoming trip to one of these cities.